Thanks to Mrs. Bunny Killer and her friend The Egg Lady
Ear EvolutionIt started when an ear fell
Off some creature in the sea.
Later shark and crab ears slip
Filling the ocean floor
With layers of ear.
On land the dogs and apes lose
Ears. The doctors say it's an epidemic.
The plague, an ear specialist cries.
Oh hell, screams a teenage son
Watching his ear crash to the floor.
Having the Trees Over for Sunday DinnerAnd again like every week
The trees come over
For sunday dinner.
And again clumps of sod
Trail from the back door
Across the kitchen.
And again Father tree
Accidentally dips his
Leaves into the gravy.
And again Baby tree
Wipes sap across
Dog dog's face.
And again like every week
The Ceiling PeopleAround the corner from my house
Live the ceiling people,
To the ceiling of their home.
Some stuck by the buttocks
Others by an arm or leg.
My friend says the ceiling people
Come down at night,
Run past their front window,
Down to the basement,
Then up to the attic.
But my friend emphasizes
The ceiling people always return
To the ceiling by morning.
My father says
The ceiling people
Are just ceiling people
All the time.
Dancing DucksIt's in the bathroom where
My mother keeps the dancing ducks,
Where late at night ducks rehearse,
Tapping their webbed feet.
Shut-up in there, my dog screams,
The ClosetAt night I watch them
Play in my bedroom closet.
In the morning I offer breakfast,
But the boys just sit.
I suggest tennis or baseball,
And dangle fawn-eyed girls
From closet hangers,
But the boys just sit, making spit.
I write threatening notes,
And stack beds and dressers
Cursing the closet door.
The boys shriek and scream for more.
My Friends the Old PeopleIn the morning I discover old people
Wandering aimlessly throughout my house.
I sneak out the back, hoping not to startle them,
Since old folk are known for their weak hearts.
When I return home I find more old people
Playing pinochle. Must be friends, I think,
Why bother old people who are quietly
Playing? So I tiptoe off to my room.
Late at night I hear laughter from the kitchen.
A bingo game has been started by crowds
Of old people. In my closet I find more
Playing spin-the-bottle and smoking pot.
The RoomAn old man stands in the empty room.
It needs new wallpaper, he thinks,
It had been years since he and his wife
Had pasted up new. It was the year before
Her death; she felt the room craved
A warmer look; he had to agree with her.
With a penknife the man slowly cuts
Back the top layer of wallpaper.
He steps back and listens to the faint
Singing of his wife in the kitchen
As she begins to prepare dinner.
He wonders if it is that late.
He cuts back another layer of paper;
This room had been his two sons' bedroom.
Through the window he sees the two boys
Playing basketball in the driveway.
The man places his hand on the window;
Confused, he turns back and cuts more.
A ten-year-old boy stands in the room;
He recognizes this as his own room.
On the other side of the bedroom door
He hears his mother and father arguing.
Saddened, the boy turns and walks back
To the wall; he cuts back another layer.
Through the window, sunlight is shining
On a small crib in the center of the room.
Inside, a baby boy stares at the soft pink
Rose bud patterns. The infant reaches out
His tiny hand.
The Street VendorA man stands on the corner
and begins to sell his body.
First he sells an index finger
to a passing tourist, an old
lady anxiously buys a knee cap.
Some of the parts won't sell;
he thinks of running a special.
The sun fades from the corner
and the man wants to go home,
Mr. Brahma in New YorkMr. Brahma (an important cow from India)
Visits New York. The taxis ignore
His bellowing. The police arrest him
For loitering and fine him for improper
Disposal of waste.
People need to learn respect,
Mr. Brahma thinks.
The Cutting of the BrideSave a breast
My father screams
As I cut slices
From her wrist.
Then on dainty
Napkins mother passes
Out pieces of the bride.
Guests burn gifts
On the alter.
Watch me slip off
The bride's blue garter
Her firm thigh.
On the last row
Of folding chairs,
Smiles while he tells
How he drew
His first bride.
The Dying SunA man takes his dog to the club.
They seem to enjoy each other's company,
Drinking beer and talking politics.
Soon the man and his dog become best
Of friends, spending the weekends
At parties singing, dancing and chasing
Women. Real swingers, one person comments.
It continues the same each week;
The man gets drunk and the dog drives
The man home and puts him to bed.
One night at the club the dog sits
Alone in the back. He looks at black
And white photos and thinks about
The times he spent with his mother
On the back porch listening
To the dying sun, then maybe barking
A little at the neighborhood kids.
The MailmanMy dog digs up the mailman
Buried in a snow bank for weeks.
Frozen like a block of ice
He is dropped on my kitchen floor.
While ice cubes spill from his mouth,
Letters melt from mailman hands.
My dog screams about the late mail
And threatens to leave home.
By the legs I drag the mailman,
His head bouncing down the stairs.
I stuff him in the clothes dryer
And iron the pleats behind his ears.
Please try to understand I beg,
Hanging the mailman in my bedroom closet.
My dog just leans against the mailbox,
Smokes a cigarette and cries.
Future ShockI once knew these two old garbage cans
Who would sit around in front of the TV
Watching Sunday Football and drinking beer.
Damn recyclable cans, one would grumble,
Who the hell needs them.
The VictimAs a man watches television
His wife assembles a son.
At the department store she shoplifts
The arms and face of a nude mannequin.
For a head the wife borrows a basketball,
Finds an extra pair of legs in the kitchen sink.
Let me introduce your new son, the new mother hails.
Please, after the game, bleats the legless man.
Free VerseTwo men begin to play tennis.
They both decide the net tends
To interfere with their game.
"Let us rid ourselves of this
Obstacle," one man suggests,
And the net is cut down.
The two men enjoy playing tennis
Without the net. "Let us strive
For more freedom," the other man
Remarks. "Why not erase the boundary
Lines?" The lines are destroyed.
The two men begin to play tennis
Without the net or boundary lines.
Serves get faster, volleys higher,
The returns more creative.
The two men play way past dark,
Long into the next years.
R. Evan Pitts: Ear Evolution and Other Poems
Part of the PoetryCircle Showcase series.
These are fascinating poems. Your style is terse, ironic and timely and only slightly jaded. The irony lends itself to cultural criticism, well-stated points of spatial-emotional-and psychological exploration, commentary, exploration. I think that what you have shows promise and is quite up-to-par for publishable and future text (future shock as the transition from Toffler). These poems make want to drink an excellent or or at least high to mid grade tea, read a decent copy of some economic journal or foreign policy report or literary review and perhaps watch my neighbor build the fire in my own living room .
Ya, I'm still alive, not sure where Jay came up with the suicide thing, just took a few years off from writing, about 35. Thanks for the wonderful comments, you are spot on with the childlike, strange depth thing, that explains exactly what I try to do with my poems. Hope to put some new stuff out this year. Thanks Evan
Love these poems (I downloaded the PDF book a year or so ago from this site and prefer it in that format). My favorites are "The trees," "The Ceiling People," and "The Street Vendor" but all of them are fresh and meld together quite well. I'm not sure what it as about these little pieces that has me return every so often--they have almost a childlike simplicity to them but also a strange depth.
Adding to the strangeness is the seeming disappearance of the author, who I believe Jay thought at one time may have committed suicide? However, I could have sworn I saw a name registered as R. Evan Pitts on PC last year. Maybe it was just my imagination.Jay Dougherty likes this.